"If you don't get out of the boat, there's a guaranteed certainty that you will never walk on water...Your boat is whatever pulls you away from the high adventure of extreme discipleship."
Despite the frigid temperatures, the sky seemed bluer and the sun shone down on us. DH and I laughed, and hugged and were in tune, moving in the same direction today. As we walked out with our two little girls, I realized all of us were happy. We were having a good time. And if it sounds like that catches me by surprise, you're right.
There's no question in the fact that we felt refreshed and inspired. Our trip to church this Sunday was as it was intended. It was a time of refueling and encouragement. It was a time of challenge and reflection.
We have a crossroads in front of us. On the one hand there is familiarity, a comfort zone, the security of a defined place, knowing what is expected, and knowing the role well. On the other hand, there is so much potential it's scary, there'd be no net, and the leap would be great.
Option A has it's own list of challenges. Frustrating, some might say senseless challenges, without direction or goal in sight. Option B would have even more challenges, but challenges that could spark such spiritual growth and potential.
With option A, the choice to commit and resolve ourselves to accept that path would be our own private, personal struggle. One I have to say we haven't handled well to date. But option B, would affect those around us - loved ones, both positively and negatively.
Perhaps if our situation didn't seem so desperate, desperate for change, this would be discerned as a calling. But doubt creeps in and I have to ask are we running? Have we lost our hope in the storm? And yet, I believe our eyes are set on Christ.
We envision greatness, goodness, possibilities that are greater than us, and that we cannot reach alone. If God is in control, then there is no offer that is circumstantial, nothing left to chance. We have to believe that he is sovereign and is the guiding force behind each event in our lives, if we are seeking Him first.
Sacrifice, suffering and near martydom is what is considered by most to be admirable spiritual events. In our world, there's not much weight in happiness alone.
Too many of us have been taught that, accept it, and can't shake the guilt when we find and feel happiness away from that which we were raised to know. When I read the first sentence at the top of my post, a quote from John Ortberg, my question was instantly - what is the boat?
Is my boat, the pause that we've taken as we deal with our struggles and questions? Should we jump back into it all? We could, it would be easy to do, and difficult to struggle through. Despite the sadness and disappointment, and awful feeling that we're at a dead end when it comes to accomplishing great visions, should be stay the course and press on?
Or is my boat, the place we're in, and it's time to step out despite obvious questions of possible failure, the risk involved and the cost of doing so? As scary as that sounds, why is it still so compelling?
Then in the second sentence, he answers the question. The new road would be an adventure. Unknown territory, but so exciting, new and fresh. The vision doesn't seem so out of reach down that road, yes just as challenging, maybe even more so perhaps. But possible.
Someone suggested that the fear to let go of something that is making you utterly miserable, tearing you up inside is not merely a feeling of obligation, but of bondage. Influences of the past that make us stay in a place or to go back to a situation that we know is causing us harm.
Stepping out of the boat and onto the water seems so heroic and so freeing. Yet the waves and the wind seem so fierce...but oh the possibilities.